War and Peace, Part III: The Year 1812

1967

Drama / History / War

146
IMDb Rating 8.3 10 965

Synopsis


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May 31, 2020

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
750.47 MB
1280*720
Russian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
81 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.45 GB
1920×1080
Russian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
81 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ackstasis 9 / 10 / 10

"An event took place that was contrary to all human reason and human nature"

Part Two of Sergei Bondarchuk's 'War and Peace' was a rather quiet and contemplative affair, an exploration of a young woman's romantic development amid conflicting emotions and temptations. By the conclusion of Part Three, there has been very little character development of this sort, and Natasha Rostova (Lyudmila Savelyeva) makes only a solitary appearance in an early sequence that highlights the uneasy intimacy of her relationship with Pierre Bezukhov (Sergei Bondarchuk). The director seems to have decided that personal affairs are no longer important – this episode is about war! With a brief running time of 84 minutes, 'War and Peace III: 1812 (1967)' nonetheless contains among the most awe-inspiring depictions of conflict ever committed to film, surpassing even the grandeur of the Bondarchuk's work in Part One and later in 'Waterloo (1970).' Over the course of his film's production, the director sustained no less than two heart attacks – as one might expect, one of these came about during his recreation of the Battle of Borodino. I really can't blame him. This battle, which lasts the bulk of the film's running time, is a genuine battering of the senses, film-making of such overwhelming excessiveness that it just about places the viewer amidst the blasts of smoke and the shudder of cannon-fire. After somehow securing the support of the Soviet Government, Bondarchuk employed full use of their resources, and conscripted 120,000 men to help recreate the Russian Army's mighty encounter with Napoleon Bonaparte's forces. Unlike the great battle in Part One, which seemed somewhat detached and impersonal, the Battle of Borodino focuses closely on the perspective of Prince Andrei (Vyacheslav Tikhonov), who has accepted that he may be dead by the day's end, and Pierre Bezukhov, whose clean civilian attire contrasts harshly with the dirty and ragged clothing of the weary soldiers. Of course, Bondarchuk can't resist regular use of his trademark sweeping overhead shots, but every detail is so meticulously orchestrated that one can only stare in fascination. What Part Three lacks in emotional depth, it more than makes up for in pure, uninhibited chaos – the chaos engineered to perfection. Like most extravagant war films, 'War and Peace (1967)' boasts a curiously-duplicitous attitude towards combat. We are reminded frequently of the inanity of war, and yet Bondarchuk simultaneously celebrates its necessity; no director can expend so much effort on a battle without glorifying it to no small extent. The narrator's final words, perhaps sourced from Tolstoy's original novel, are shamelessly patriotic and no doubt designed to elicit nationalistic cheers from the Russian audience – "a moral victory which compels the enemy to recognize the moral superiority of his opponent and his own impotence was won by the Russians at Borodino." Even though the Battle of Borodino ended in a bloody stalemate, the French troops were afflicted with sufficient losses to withdraw their offensive. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (Vladislav Strzhelchik) is unsympathetically portrayed as a cold, remorseless strategist ("Never, to the end of his life, had he the least comprehension of goodness, of beauty or of truth, or of the significance of his actions…"), a far cry from Rod Steiger's interpretation just three years later.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 9 / 10 / 10

Gut-wrenching war

Sergei Bondarchuk's adaptation of 'War and Peace' is one of the best, and while it is flawed it is nonetheless a towering achievement that still leaves one in awe over fifty years later. Only the 1972 mini-series for me is better, though all the adaptations are more than watchable (the disappointing 2007 adaptation only just though). It is a film and adaptation that shouldn't be missed regardless of whether you speak or have knowledge of Russian or not, despite studying singing in it at music college my Russian is still fairly basic. Found the first part to be excellent with a couple of things that could have been better (pacing), with some of the most gut-wrenching war sequences on film. Part 2 was not as powerful in that respect, but it does contain one of the most visually stunning and gorgeously romantic and staged ball scenes on film and is more interesting from a character standpoint. The adaptation continues to get even better with this third, and penultimate and shortest, part, which continues to be a visual marvel, the portrayal of war and chaos being even more impactful, everything feeling more settled and the characterisation richer. Again more sharp bite would have been welcome, but that is a nit-pick. Elsewhere, 'War and Peace Part 3: The Year 1812' is excellent. 'War and Peace Part 3: The Year 1812' is stunning once again. The scenery and period detail is spectacular and gives a sense of time and place far better than any other version of 'War and Peace' and the cinematography is inventive and enough to take the breath away. Those overhead shots! The scope and spectacle is also enormous and that is apparent in the dominating battle, that did hit me hard on an emotional level with lots of blood and guts (figuratively). Enhanced by a truly chilling music score, not only music that was emotionally powerful and beautiful to listen to but also gave a sense that the story was set in Russia in the way that few of the other versions, only 2016's, managed to achieve. The script is thoughtful and the story is compelling and with a lot of recognisable elements in detail and spirit. Characters don't come over as caricatures, even Napoleon, and Bondarchuk's direction in the battle is some of the most remarkable of the entire adaptation. The acting is at times histrionic but is fine on the whole, don't think there is a more chilling Napoleon on film than Vladislav Strzhelchik. In conclusion, excellent. 9/10

Reviewed by gizmomogwai 9 / 10 / 10

Shock and awe

The centrepiece of Sergei Bondarchuk's 1965-67 War and Peace and the only one not named after a main character, "The Year 1812", as the title suggests, puts the war of Napoleon's invasion of Russia front and centre. And that's part of its power. Bondarchuk, from the word go with his seven-hour film, is relentlessly ambitious, and that shows no more than in the war scenes. To depict this invasion, no punches are held; according to The Criterion Collection, he was given no less than 15,000 real soldiers and 120,000 extras as well as 10,000 smoke grenades. Co-ordinating all this must have taken just short the effort to co-ordinate a real war (but thankfully without the real carnage). That wealth of resources may not be enough if there was no artistic direction; but from the word go, Bondarchuk is relentlessly and endlessly ambitious in his creativity. That goes for "The Year 1812" too; replacing an explosion with a burst of music and panning to a forest that almost seems to come to life magically (much like the oak in Part I) is impressive. The sheer scope of the spectacle of war itself is impressive, but a point still comes across. This isn't fun; war is seen as a loss for everyone, and when we see a commander-in-chief totally disconnected with reality, insisting it's a great victory, I felt my heart sink. War and Peace is a work that offers philosophy. It's both pro- and anti-war; the invasion was horrific but once started the Russians are given no choice but to defend themselves, and the turn of tide expressed at the end- the downfall of Napoleonic France- is momentous.

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